That’s what I’ve named the Black-capped Chickadee with the curved beak that appeared in our yard less than a week ago. Curly was around most of today, but before I tell about my Curly sightings, I should mention that the yard was busy today with other birds too. It was bitter cold (never above zero degrees, and right now at 19 below zero and going colder tonight) and birds came and went from many of the feeders.
The other bird photo that I will post today is of a stunning male Pine Grosbeak, one of four grosbeaks that were around today.
But back to Curly. Nearly every time that I looked out the window today, Curly was visible somewhere. I first noticed Curly on the shaggy outdoor rug outside on our back porch. Curly appeared to be eating a piece of suet, tipping sideways to better handle the food.
Next I noticed Curly at one of the hanging platform feeders and then the suet feeder hanging from our birch tree. Periodically Curly also flew down and landed on the snow to pick seeds off the snow (not shown).
Then I saw Curly delicately preening up in our birch tree for an extended period.
Curly then visited the old dog dish where I sometimes put bread crumbs, and I realized that was probably what Curly had been eating earlier when I thought it was a large piece of suet.
Curly also visited the suet feeders on the porch today, daintily picking bits of suet and eating. Sometimes, at these feeders or elsewhere on the porch or in a tree, Curly often sat for lengthy periods, flicking wings now and then, unlike the rest of the chickadees which were rarely in evidence today.
I am glad that Curly appears to be holding up in the cold weather and is able to eat a variety of the feeds that I put out for the birds. Because of Curly’s beak deformity, Curly is now a recognizable personality to me and not just an indistinguishable generic chickadee.
Looks like Avian Keratin Disorder. It is caused by a virus. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-07/caos-ndv072516.php#.V5iACm1lQ-E.facebook
The Alaska Science Center is interested in pictures of birds with this kind of deformity. https://alaska.usgs.gov/science/biology/landbirds/beak_deformity/contact.html